COVID-19 pandemic in Western Sahara

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COVID-19 pandemic in Western Sahara
Disease COVID-19
Virus strain SARS-CoV-2
Location Western Sahara
First outbreak Wuhan, Hubei, China
Index case Boujdour
Arrival date4 April 2020
(4 weeks)
Confirmed cases766 [1]
Active cases41
Recovered25
Deaths
2

The COVID-19 pandemic was confirmed to have reached Western Sahara in April 2020. The released data from the Moroccan government includes cases in the disputed Western Sahara territory controlled by Morocco but not Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic, due to an ongoing dispute.

Contents

Background

On 12 January 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) confirmed that a novel coronavirus was the cause of a respiratory illness in a cluster of people in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China, which was reported to the WHO on 31 December 2019. [2] [3]

The case fatality ratio for COVID-19 has been much lower than SARS of 2003, [4] [5] but the transmission has been significantly greater, with a significant total death toll. [6] [4]

Timeline

On 4 April, the first four cases were confirmed in Boujdour by the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO). [7]

On 9 April, MINURSO reported that two new cases were confirmed in Dakhla, bringing the number of confirmed cases to six. [8]

On 24 April, MINURSO reported four more cases, bringing the number of confirmed cases to ten. [9]

By 19 June there had been 26 confirmed cases, the latest of which in Laayoune. One patient had died (in Tindouf, 24 May) while 23 had recovered and 2 were still active cases. [10]

On 31 August there were 41 active cases in Laayoune. [11]

See also

Related Research Articles

Western Sahara disputed territory in northwestern Africa

Western Sahara is a disputed territory on the northwest coast and in the Maghreb region of North and West Africa. About 20% of the territory is controlled by the self-proclaimed Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic, while the remaining 80% of the territory is occupied and administered by neighboring Morocco. Its surface area amounts to 266,000 square kilometres (103,000 sq mi). It is one of the most sparsely populated territories in the world, mainly consisting of desert flatlands. The population is estimated at just over 500,000, of which nearly 40% live in Laayoune, the largest city in Western Sahara.

Political status of Western Sahara

Western Sahara, formerly the Spanish colony of Spanish Sahara, is a disputed territory claimed by both the Kingdom of Morocco and the Popular Front for the Liberation of the Saguia el Hamra and Rio de Oro, which is an independence movement based in Algeria. It is listed by the United Nations (UN) as a non-decolonized territory and is thus included in the United Nations list of Non-Self-Governing Territories.

United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara Organization

The United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara is the United Nations peacekeeping mission in Western Sahara, established in 1991 under United Nations Security Council Resolution 690 as part of the Settlement Plan, which had paved way for a cease-fire in the conflict between Morocco and the Polisario Front over the contested territory of Western Sahara.

Moroccan Western Sahara Wall A separation barrier through Western Sahara

The Moroccan Western Sahara Wall or Berm is an approximately 2,700 km (1,700 mi) long structure, mostly a sand wall, running through Western Sahara and the southwestern portion of Morocco. It separates the Moroccan areas on the west from the Polisario-controlled areas on the east.

Free Zone (region) Region of Western Sahara

The Free Zone or Liberated Territories is a term used by the Polisario Front government of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic, a partially recognized de facto sovereign state in the western Maghreb, to describe the part of Western Sahara that lies to the east of a 2,200-kilometre (1,400 mi) border wall flanked by a minefield, often referred as the Berm, and to the west and north of the borders with Algeria and Mauritania, respectively. It is controlled by the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic, as opposed to the area to the west of the Berm, which is controlled by Morocco as part of its Southern Provinces. Both states claim the entirety of Western Sahara as their territory.

Western Sahara conflict Military conflict

The Western Sahara conflict is an ongoing conflict between the Polisario Front and the Kingdom of Morocco. The conflict originated from an insurgency by the Polisario Front against Spanish colonial forces from 1973 to 1975 and the subsequent Western Sahara War against Morocco between 1975 and 1991. Today the conflict is dominated by unarmed civil campaigns of the Polisario Front and their self-proclaimed SADR state to gain fully recognized independence for Western Sahara.

United Nations Security Council Resolution 690

United Nations Security Council resolution 690, adopted unanimously on 29 April 1991, after recalling resolutions 621 (1988) and 658 (1990) and noting a report by the Secretary-General on the situation in Western Sahara, the Council approved the report and decided to establish the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO) in accordance with the Secretary-General's recommendations. The Mission was to implement the Settlement Plan for a referendum of self-determination for the people of Western Sahara.

In United Nations Security Council resolution 1133, adopted unanimously on 20 October 1997, after reaffirming all previous resolutions on the Western Sahara, but recalling Resolution 1131 (1997), the Council extended the mandate of the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO) until 20 April 1998.

United Nations Security Council resolution 1224, adopted unanimously on 28 January 1999, after reaffirming all previous resolutions on the question of the Western Sahara, the Council extended the mandate of the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO) until 11 February 1999.

United Nations Security Council Resolution 1406

United Nations Security Council resolution 1406, adopted unanimously on 30 April 2002, after recalling all previous resolutions on the situation on Western Sahara, particularly Resolution 1394 (2002), the Council extended the mandate of the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO) until 31 July 2002.

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The COVID-19 pandemic was confirmed to have reached the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic in July 2020. There are 33 confirmed cases in the eastern part of Western Sahara controlled by the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic.

2020–2021 Western Saharan clashes Armed conflict between Morocco and self-proclaimed Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic and Polisario Front

The 2020–2021 Western Saharan clashes, also called the Guerguerat crisis and Moroccan military intervention in Guerguerat is an armed conflict between Morocco and the self-proclaimed Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR), represented at the United Nations by the Polisario Front, in the disputed region of Western Sahara. It was the latest escalation of an unresolved conflict over the region, which is largely occupied by Morocco, but 20–25% of which it is administered by the SADR. The violence ended a ceasefire between the opposing sides that had held for 29 years in anticipation of referendum on self-determination that would have settled the dispute. Despite the establishment of the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara in 1991, the referendum was never held.

References

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  2. Elsevier. "Novel Coronavirus Information Center". Elsevier Connect. Archived from the original on 30 January 2020. Retrieved 15 March 2020.
  3. Reynolds, Matt (4 March 2020). "What is coronavirus and how close is it to becoming a pandemic?". Wired UK. ISSN   1357-0978. Archived from the original on 5 March 2020. Retrieved 5 March 2020.
  4. 1 2 "Crunching the numbers for coronavirus". Imperial News. Archived from the original on 19 March 2020. Retrieved 15 March 2020.
  5. "High consequence infectious diseases (HCID); Guidance and information about high consequence infectious diseases and their management in England". GOV.UK. Archived from the original on 3 March 2020. Retrieved 17 March 2020.
  6. "World Federation Of Societies of Anaesthesiologists – Coronavirus". www.wfsahq.org. Archived from the original on 12 March 2020. Retrieved 15 March 2020.
  7. "4 April 2020: REGULAR UPDATES BY MINURSO ON COVID-19". United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINOSUR). 4 April 2020. Archived from the original on 6 April 2020. Retrieved 5 April 2020.
  8. "9 April 2020: REGULAR UPDATES BY MINURSO ON COVID-19". United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara. 9 April 2020. Archived from the original on 10 April 2020. Retrieved 12 April 2020.
  9. "24 April 2020: Regular updates by MINURSO on COVID-19". United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara. 24 April 2020. Archived from the original on 6 April 2020. Retrieved 28 April 2020.
  10. "19 June 2020: Regular updates by MINURSO on COVID-19". United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara. 19 June 2020. Retrieved 5 October 2020.
  11. "Report of the Secretary-General on the situation concerning Western Sahara S/2020/938" (PDF). United Nations. 23 September 2020. p. 1. Retrieved 19 November 2020.